Klima-, energi- og bygningsminister Martin Lidegaards afsluttende bemærkninger til Danish Fashion Institutes Fashion Summit i Operahuset den 3. maj 2012.
Talen er på engelsk
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Ladies and gentlemen, Your royal highness.
This has truly been an inspirational day. A day of creativity, of commitment and great beauty.
It's no secret that I have high expectations when it comes to the Fashion Industry's efforts to create a more sustainable production and consumption.
Not only are you capable of showing the world that sustainable clothing anno 2012 is so much more than wearing foot shaped shoes. Today you have also shown that fashion is more than just looking good. It is about doing good.
There's no question that it is difficult out there right now, but we’ve also seen how talented and gifted people in Nordic fashion really is and we’ve heard some exciting ideas and proposals for how we can lay the groundwork for sustainable conduct and sustainable growth in the future.
The need is certainly alive and kicking: The last century concentrations of CO2 have grown by 40 % and resource demand has hit the roof.
The global population hit 7 billion this fall and each year we are using far more of our resources than the earth can replenish.
The result is skyrocketing prices on almost all modern commodities from cotton to water.
Moreover the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world.
Recently I read that a 5 dollar T-shirt takes as much as 1.500 liters of water and thousands of different chemicals to produce only to survive a few times in the washer before being thrown out.
And a typical t-shirt is expected to be responsible for around 15kgCO2 if it lasts one year.
In other words: The trend towards cheaper and cheaper clothing with shorter and shorter lifetime purchased in still increasing amounts can't remain.
We need a world where fashion is produced without child labor, without polluting the local environment and without over-heating the globe.
So how do we get there? By doing what Nordic Fashion is doing. By being creative, by taking action and by making sustainability fashionable.
All of history’s great transformations have involved politicians, citizens and businesses joining forces. Fortunately we are not at the beginning of this process. We are in the middle of it.
And right now the question is: How do we push this evolution even further: Well, I believe we need to do three things:
We politicians need to demonstrate, that we can build a thriving green economy here in Denmark and more widely in the world.
And we need to support the companies and industries that act.
Secondly we need to create ownership among consumers. The tide is certainly moving in our favor as the demand for sustainable goods is growing.
A new survey shows that the majority of the young people in a range of different countries such as China and UK prefer sustainable brands over conventional ones. And in some markets – especially the new ones - a majority would simply stop buying products from companies who refuse to limit their carbon footprint.
This brings me to my final point; That sustainability provides companies with a clear competitive edge.
But only if we can meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.
Tomorrow’s winners will be the ones who are able to create green inexpensive solutions for the rapidly growing middleclass making sustainability truly fashionable.
Sustainable beauty is only for the Gods, and you would need divine connections to stay forever young.
But I have a more earthly dream, where sustainable production methods and ethical consumption gains truly solid ground. Where Corporate Social Responsibility is more than just talk.
A world where sustainability is woven into the fabrics of fashion and the fabrics of our minds.
Yves Saint Laurant once said: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Today we celebrate the world’s first global ethical code of conduct in the fashion industry Today we thread the needle to a broader scope of the green revolution. Today we show that Nordic fashion is truly stylish.
I strongly believe that the fashion industry and style icons gathered here tonight has the unique power to persuade beyond the scope of fashion.
Not least the wonderful Eva Kruse. Let’s give her a warm welcome.